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The true meaning of Christmas was/(is) to honor a pagan sun-god. The practice and festivity predate the Incarnation of the Messiah. Christmas has nothing - absolutely nothing - to do with Christianity, the birth of Christ or remembering Him. There's not the slightest hint in the bible that any believer ever commemorated Christmas. Bless you all.
For today’s Christians, Christmas is (should be) the celebration of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us (John 3:1-14). It was God’s decision that no matter what people did, He would love us…and He longs for our love in return. Jesus, was God in action on earth; He is the evidence of God’s love for us. God sent His Son, Jesus, to show us a love we can imitate. Christmas is a time to remember this love and to demonstrate our love for others. After all, (Matthew 25:34-40) says, how we treat others is how we treat God. NOTE: It does not matter what the origins of Christmas WERE; the past is past and I am not responsible for what people did in the past regarding Christmas any more than I am responsible for the horrible things people did in the past like slavery, war, the holocaust, etc. It is my prayer that today's Christians return to a focus on TRUE LOVE (kindness, servant-like behavior, being other-centered) instead of gift-giving. Perhaps if this happened it would help people see that we intend Christmas to be about God and His great love.
The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. If we focus on Christ's birthday only, then we lose the whole meaning. It is to praise the Lord God for his grace that he sent his only begotten son for our salvation. Without Jesus we would not have any salvation. (You must understand real ancient biblical language to get the correct meaning with begotten.) Some very strong verses from the Bible with regard to festivals: Romans 14:5–6 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks. Colossians 2:16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.
My answer in it's simplest form is one word, heart! I believe God looks at our heart and if He sees worship in our observance of the day (or in our refusal to do so), He likes both. So the true meaning of Christmas is whatever is in your heart on that day. To those who do not celebrate that day though, I would ask "If you knew the exact day that Jesus was born, would you celebrate that day?" If so, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing a day symbolically to represent that day and celebrating not the day but the One for whom the day was chosen! Just the act of choosing to celebrate on a specific day honors the one for whom the day is chosen! Does the fact that someone else mayor may not celebrate something else on the same day change what is in our heart? By no means. The "why" that we celebrate the day is what's important and the true meaning of Christmas!
The word is the combination of Khristos Maesse which when translated means Christ Mass. All this goes back to times when the Catholic Church integrated many festivals and holy days into its liturgy practices. As time went on even Protestant churches saw this as a way to celebrate Christ's birth because of the ties to ST. Nicholas and giving and love being spread. I believe if we as Christians keep " the reason for the season" and teach our children the aspect of honoring God and Jesus coming into the world and putting on flesh, and the love of others by giving, then the other aspects of lights and trees and decorations are just something enjoyable, following Thanksgiving and looking to the new year. All these things are to be taken into consideration of Paul writing in Romans 14:5-6, Colossians 2:16, and Galatians 4:8-11. We as Christians can enjoy the better attributes of holidays as long as we don't become enslaved to the worldly view or obligations.
I would like to refer to Acts 17:22 to 34. St Paul who looked around the places of worship of the idol worshipers of Athens found among them a place for worship of THE UNKNOWN GOD. Taking a cue from there he started preaching to them that the unknown God of theirs is the Lord Jesus Christ. In the same way Christians preached to the worshipers of the pagan Sun god celebrating 25th December as the birthday (?) of their god that the Sun is not a god but Jesus Christ is the True God who was born as the son of woman (Gen 3:15) and hence if they want to celebrate the birth day of God they have to celebrate the day as the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ. And this sort of celebration became somewhat universal in course time
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